Giving God The Leftovers
The Israelites returned to Jerusalem from exile with Zerubbabel. Along with him came the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. These prophets encouraged the exiles to rebuild the temple which occurred in 515 B.C.
Nehemiah later came to Jerusalem and encouraged the rebuilding of the city walls. Nehemiah went back to Persia for an unknown period of time. During his absence, Malachi took the helm of spiritual affairs in Jerusalem. In his time the temple and its laws were in place long enough for abuses to set in.
The people were guilty of mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers. The priesthood was corrupt and chose popularity with the people over popularity with God. There were financial abuses and neglect of God's work.
So the exiles had returned; the temple had been rebuilt; the city of Jerusalem had returned to a substantial degree of normalcy; and the inevitable lethargy, laxity, and leniency in spiritual matters had developed. Malachi addressed himself to this problem.
1. MALACHI ADDRESSED A GREAT PROBLEM.
"The 'burden' of the Word of the Lord..." The name Malachi means messenger. The word burden is a heavy load. It is a load heavy to bear and heavy to receive.
The priest of that day had compromised and allowed the people to offer unacceptable offerings. God raised up a messenger who would set the record straight to the priests and to the people.
-Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. He told the Jews that they crucified the Lord Jesus Christ and that God had raised him from the dead.
-John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees a bunch of snakes and vipers.
-The Scripture says that in the last days people will gather them teachers who will say what they want them to say.
-The prophet of God must forever say "Thus saith the Lord."
1. They forgot about the greatness of God.
He loved them and established a covenant with Jacob. He was to be ...
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